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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

HAUNTED PLACES IN LONDON


HAUNTED PLACES IN LONDON


London Tombs – The London Bridge Experience


London Tombs, part of the London Bridge Experience, is a daytime scare attraction that’s been voted ‘the UK’s best year round scare attraction’ for the last 4 years (2009-2012). It was discovered in 2007 when construction first began on the London Bridge experience attraction. Builders working on the excavation discovered a Plague Pit that contained a large collection of skeletons, unnerving the builders so much they refused to work down their alone. The bridge itself was also a scene of gruesome happenings. In Tudor times they used to impale the heads of traitors and criminals on spikes along the bridge. In fact, some of the skulls that were found on the site actually had holes through them as if they were impaled.
London during these times was certainly a very hard and cruel place to live, and this has left an imprint on the area, perhaps leading to the abundance of activity that is experienced?

London Tombs Ghosts


Regarded by many as an extremely haunted location, the London Tombs certainly has its fair share of paranormal goings on. Once the day has ended and the staff have left, the real ghosts come out, walking the corridors and the rooms.
Staff have refused to work alone for fear of coming face to face with one of the spirits, as has happened previously. A dark shadowy figure has been seen by staff on several occasions, and has also been known to actually interact with them.
Groups on an investigation have witnessed a lady who they believed to be an actor staying behind after her shift. However, upon investigation there was no woman working that day. The lady is known as Emily to the staff and has been witnessed a number of times.
Ghost hunts have also witnessed poltergeist activity, with objects being moved from unseen hands. Loud bangs and dragging noises are often heard. Several people have also reported ghostly apparitions moving around between the groups.
People have been known to run out of the location due to sheer terror. The reports in addition to the very disturbing atmosphere at this location make it one not for the faint of heart.


Highgate Cemetery, London


Designated Grade I on the list of English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Highgate Cemetery has two parts, the East and West Cemetery. With more than 170,000 people buried and 53,000 graves, Highgate is not only a cemetery but a nature reserve, as well.


History


The cemetery opened in 1839 and it was part of the plan of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries outside of London. During that time, church cemeteries were unable to cope with the number of dead people which needed burial. The cemetery was initially designed by Stephen Geary.
The cemetery was originally dedicated to St. James by Right Reverend Charles Blomfield. Two acres were for Dissenters and fifteen acres were for the use of the Church of England. The rights of burial were sold to people for a limited period or for perpetuity.
Just like the other burial places included in the Magnificent Seven list, Highgate became a very fashionable place for burials. Even people who had no deceased relatives or friends in the cemetery came to visit and admire it. During the Victorian times, Gothic tombs were made with wealth and pageantry. The South-facing hillside site of the cemetery is spectacular.
The grounds of the cemetery are full of wild flowers, shrubbery and trees. All of these things grew without human influence. There are also lots of animals in the grounds, such as foxes and birds. Some of the most notable parts of the cemetery are Egyptian Avenue and Circle of Lebanon. The oldest part of the cemetery has an impressive collection of mausoleums and gravestones from the Victorian era. There are also tombs carved elaborately. Today, admission is strictly limited to tour groups. The newer sections can be toured without any escort.
The cemetery houses illustrious names which are admired the world over. Some of the famous people buried in the cemetery are Karl Marx, Feliks Topolski, Jane Arden, William Michael Rossetti, Elizabeth Siddal and Ellen Wood.


Ghosts of Highgate Cemetery, London


Monuments to the dead in Highgate Cemetery became more and more ambitious and families started to outdo each other desperately on providing ostentatious resting places for their loved ones. However, by World War II the cemetery saw its fortunes dwindling and the once proud necropolis was then abandoned.
Rumours about cults meeting in the cemetery and holding ceremonies in the ruins of the cemetery started. The local newspaper, Highgate Express and Hampstead started receiving letters from frightened individuals who went through various ghostly encounters.  One man wrote that his car was broken down near the cemetery and he was terrified to have seen an apparition with red eyes glaring at him through the gates of the cemetery.
Another man who was walking down Swains Lane was knocked on the ground by a creature which seemed to glide from the walls of the cemetery. The gruesome creature just dissolved into thin air when an approaching car shone its headlights on the man. There is also the story of a ghostly cyclist who was working his way up a steep incline and frightened young mother almost out of her wits.
It was also once suggested that a vampire was on the prowl in the cemetery and this led to a barrage of cameras, television crews and journalists coming to the cemetery. The hunt for the un-dead was underway but unfortunately, they did not find any.
The cemetery’s history and reputation has made it one of the most visited places in the UK for people who would like to investigate or experience the paranormal.


Bethnal Green Underground Tube Station, London


During World War II, Bethnal Green Tube station was one of the few stations that were the obvious choice for shelter when air raids were being carried out. The station has 5,000 bunks and at times it can hold 7,000 people. The station saved many lives during the Blitz; however, it also became the site of one of the worst civilian disasters of the war.
Following the heavy bombing of German forces on March 3rd 1943, Londoners flocked through the streets and into the underground shelters and when the air raid sirens sounded to announce another raid, almost 500 people were already inside the station. Further into the evening, more than 1500 people were ushered in to the stations. It was also raining during that time and the steps were wet and slippery.
It was almost 9 in the evening when an explosion was heard and rockets were sent into the night. The explosion was so noisy that people started to panic. 173 people were killed and most of them died of asphyxiation. There were 27 men, 84 women, and 62 children that died that night.


Ghosts of Bethnal Green Station, London


The tragedy in the tube left an indelible print on the station and the people who work there. A very famous story is of one man who was working in the station and was getting ready to call it a night. The last train had departed and all the staff had gone home, apart from him. He secured the station, turned off the lights and went back to his office to finish off some paperwork.
He had not been back in the office very long before he started hearing children sobbing. At first he shrugged it off and carried on working, but the crying grew louder and louder. After that he heard female voices and screams, as well as noises which he could not identify. He described the sound as similar to people who are panicking. The sounds lasted for 10-15 minutes and he was so frightened that he ran out of the office and rushed to the top of the booking hallway to get away from it.
The same sounds have been heard by staff at night on many occasions.


Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace, London


Originally built for Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace was then passed to the king who extended it. There was a massive rebuilding and expansion; however, this was halted in 1694, thus, giving the palace two different architectural styles. One style is domestic Tudor and the other is Baroque. The use of pink bricks gives the palace a unifying look.
Today the palace is open to the public and is one of the country’s most popular attractions. It receives no funding from the government or the crown. It is cared for by the Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity. Today, the Home Park is home to the Hampton Court Palace Festival and the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which take place once a year.  It is one of the two surviving places, along with St. James’ Palace, out of the several which were owned by Henry VIII.


Ghost of Hampton Court Palace


Catherine Howard is one of the palace’s many ghosts. She is reported to often visit the palace’s Haunted Gallery. She was accused of adultery by King Henry VIII, her husband, and was put on house arrest but she escaped from her guards and ran down the gallery, only to be dragged back to her room screaming. The fifth wife of the king, she was executed in the Tower of London. Guests and staff at the palace have reported hearing Catherine’s scream from the gallery. An interesting fact…One evening in 1999, during different tours of the palace, two female visitors fainted in exactly the same spot in the same gallery were the screams of Catherine have been heard.
Sybil Penn, also known as the Grey Lady of Hampton Court, is another of the palace’s many ghosts. Several sightings of the Grey Lady have been reported in various areas of the castle. She was a servant to the Tudor monarchs of the house and a nurse to Prince Edward, as well as Elizabeth I. She cared for the future queen while she was sick with small pox, only to die later of the same disease.
The first sightings of her spectre began in 1829 when her tomb was moved. Immediately after her tomb was disturbed, several strange noises have been reported. Some say that they can hear a spinning wheel constantly throughout the court. A search in the palace revealed an antique spinning wheel. whether this is a coincidence or not, no one can confirm. Some of the places she continuously haunts are the Clock Court and the state apartments.
The ghostly figure captured on CCTV which people has since called “Skeletor” has been reported worldwide. The image was captured in the winter of 2003 while security staff reviewed CCTV footage. Security staff saw that on the first day, doors swung wide open with so much force, but nothing can be seen which could have caused such an occurrence.
On the second day, doors swung wide open again and this time a ghostly figure can be seen which many believed to be the ghost of King Henry VIII, but many people have since named the spirit “Skeletor”. On the third day the doors swung again, but nothing was seen again.  It was not just the security staff who reported seeing something strange. A visitor wrote on the palace’s visitor book that she thought she had also seen the apparition of a large man near the same doors.


The Tower of London


During its 900 years of existence, the Tower of London has earned the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the UK. Thomas A. Becket is said to be one of the first ghosts seen in the tower. When the Inner Curtain Wall was still in construction, Thomas seemed to be very unhappy about it and reduced the wall to rubble with the strike of his cross. The grandfather of Henry III was said to be the reason for Thomas A. Beckett’s death so he built a chapel in the Tower for the Archbishop. People believe that Beckett was pleased with the construction of the chapel because no further interruptions were reported after the incident with the Inner Curtain Wall.
Arbella Stuart is one of the castle’s most famous ghosts. It is said that her ghost stays in The Queen’s House on Tower Green. According to records, Arbella Stuart married the nephew of Lady Jane Grey, William Seymour.  The marriage was thought of as a threat because it did not have the permission of King James I. Arbella was put under house arrest in Lambeth while her husband William was sent to the tower. Arbella plotted to get William released so that they could travel together to France, however, William missed the rendezvous. Arbella set sail all alone but she was recognised and was sent back, this time to the Tower. William, on the other hand, made it to freedom. She stayed there until her death in 1615 in The Queen’s House.  It is believed that she was murdered in the castle.
The most persistent of all ghosts in the Tower of London is that of no other than Queen Anne Boleyn. She was married to King Henry VII. She was arrested and taken to Tower Green and was beheaded on the 19th of May 1536. Several sightings of Anne Boleyn have been reported. She appears close to the site where she was executed and has also been seen leading a procession down the aisle of a chapel. Several people have reported seeing her headless body walking the Tower’s corridors.
The Bloody Tower is a place in the castle which conjures up grisly images. There is the story of the two young princes, Edward V and his brother Richard, who were declared illegitimate by Parliament and sent to the tower. They were often seen playing around happily in the grounds but suddenly vanished and were never seen again. It was assumed that they were murdered by order of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Two skeletons, believed to be the children, were unearthed beneath a staircase in the White Tower. The ghosts of the children are often seen wearing nightgowns clutching each other in terror in the rooms of the castle. They are also heard throughout the Tower.
There is also the White Lady of the massive White Tower. The White Tower is one of the oldest and most foreboding buildings and it is the eerie haunt of the White Lady. She was said to have stood once at a window waving to little children at the building on the opposite side. Her cheap perfume impregnates the air on the entrance to St. John’s Chapel.
Guards of the Tower of London have reported having a terrible crushing sensation upon entering the place where King Henry’s VIII impressive suit armour is exhibited. A guard who was patrolling the grounds have reported a sensation of someone throwing a cloak over him. When he tried to free himself, the cloth was seized from behind and pulled tightly around his throat by his unseen attacker.


History


The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. It is a complex of multiple buildings set within two rings of walls built to keep intruders out. Several expansions have been made by kings during the 12th and 13th century. Although there have been a lot of modifications and additions to the tower, the original layout of the tower remains. The Tower of London has played a major role in the history of England. It has been a treasury, a public records office, an armoury, the Royal Mint’s home, and the home of the country’s crown jewels.
The country’s history would be incomplete if the Tower of London is not mentioned. The tower has been besieged several times. Kings and conquerors believed that in order to control the country, the tower must be controlled first. During the 15th century, the castle was used as a prison.  However, the peak period of the castle’s use as a prison was in the 16th and 17th centuries. Elizabeth I was one of the many prominent figures who were held captive in the tower. The use of the tower as place for captives popularized the term “sent to the Tower”.
Although there has been a lot of talk and a pervading belief that the tower is a place of death and torture, only a total of seven people were executed within the tower, a figure which is low compared to other places. The executions were commonly held on the Notorious Hill of the castle. In a 400-year period, 112 executions took place on Notorious Hill.
Two men, John Taylor and Anthony Salvin, restored the castle to what they believed was its medieval appearance. They cleared out most of the vacant post-medieval structures. During the two World Wars, the castle was again used as a prison and 12 men were executed for espionage. The castle was badly damaged during Blitz in the Second World War but it was repaired and opened to the public. Today, the castle is cared for by the Historic Royal Palace, a charity, and protected as a World Heritage Site.


Grange Blooms Hotel, London


Dr. John Cumming was an eccentric minister who had a bit of a fixation on apocalyptic prophecy as well as anti-Catholic views –and when he was not attaching what he called the Romish aggression of the church, he was interpreting Old and New testament prophecies about the end of the world and was absolutely sure that he would live to see the end of the world. He’s just one of Grange Blooms’ former occupants and it’s been rumoured that during long, winter nights, his ghostly presence has been spotted in the lounge area of the hotel.


History


Blooms has a long and rather distinguished list of former occupants; everyone from the aforementioned Dr. John Cumming to Richard Penn. The building dates back to the 18th century, but the building itself stands in what used to be the grounds of Montague House, which is now the British Museum.


About


Grange Blooms hotel is a stunning period hotel filled with elegant, antique furniture, period features such as high ceilings and ornate coving, and luxurious fabrics and finishing touches. Although the hotel radiates an air of elegance, it’s also homely, meaning that everyone who stays there will instantly feel right at home. There is a selection of en-suite bedrooms at the hotel, spread over three floors in either executive or standard price class.
There’s a restaurant at the hotel, known as The Blooms, and it’s a lovely way to start your day overlooking the hotel’s private garden. The Malt Library bar is also popular with guests and locals alike, serving over 30 malt whiskies to satisfy the most discerning of palettes. The hotel has 26 en-suite bedrooms, including normal double and twin rooms but also a number of four-poster rooms, as well as four individually appointed and styled rooms including Pickwick, Lords, Theatre Royal and Dickens for those who are culture lovers.
Meeting and conference facilities are also available at the hotel for the business traveller, as well as a number of services such as concierge, porter, laundry and dry-cleaning, high speed Wi-Fi and 24 hour reception. Whatever your reason for coming to the capital, you’re sure to have a cosy, comfortable and relaxing stay in this hotel.


The Langham Hotel, London


The hotel was first built in 1865, and with nearly 500 rooms and suites it’s really not surprising that a number of ghosts have been seen regularly at the hotel. The paranormal activity at the hotel became apparent when it was owned by the BBC, when it was discovered that there were at least five ghosts that make regular appearances at the hotel.
The most active of the ghosts at the hotel is said to be that of a German prince or nobleman who was thought to have met his death when he threw himself out of the window of an upper-storey room. Guests have seen his ghostly form moving through walls and closed doors and he is often accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature.
Room 333 is supposed to be the most haunted – ghost-story.co.uk has this story. “In this room a BBC newscaster woke up to see a florescent ball of light which slowly took a human shape. The apparition hovered two feet above the floor the lower portion of its legs missing, it was dressed in extravagant Victorian evening wear. The announcer tried to communicate with the ghost asking what it wanted, the spirit slowly started to move towards the newscaster arms outstretched eyes empty.
The announcer fled in distress to the safety of his co-workers and told them of his encounter, a colleague accompanied him back to his room. The ghost was still there when they entered, but appeared less visible and less threatening before slowly fading away. Other BBC staff reported seeing the apparition in the same room, though only in October.”


History


When opened in 1865 the Langham immediately became London’s first purpose built grand hotel, and since then has enchanted its guests and visitors with splendour and luxury that far exceeds expectations. The Langham was recently restored, following an £80 million restoration programme that took five years to complete. Now, the old personality of the Langham has been re-captured and you truly get a sense of what the Langham would have been like nearly 150 years ago.


About


The Langham boasts nearly 500 rooms and suites in a number of price classes – classic, grand, classic executive, classic family room, grand executive, suites and even a one-bedroom apartment. Many of the rooms have been newly designed and decorated, and all of the rooms and suites have a classic design, with elegant finishing touches and furnishings. Your luxurious stay at the hotel doesn’t end in the room, however. Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jnr are working together for the first time in 19 years at the Roux at the Landau, bringing together their culinary expertise and flair to create stunning menus that are full of their usual French flair and creativity.
Roux at the Landau is open daily for breakfast, a la carte dining and for lunch and dinner set menus. There’s also a state of the art Chuan Spa, with a huge swimming pool and a TechnoGym with numerous weights and accessories, as well as plasma televisions and personal trainers. Weddings, receptions and other events can also be held at the Langham –just contact the hotel for more details.


Georgian House Hotel, Westminster, London


Many paranormal goings-on have been witnessed at the hotel over the last twenty years or so – and we can only assume that these ghostly occurrences were happening for many years before this.
In 1989, the manager of the hotel was showing a visitor around the hotel. There was a group of laughing children heard running around, shouting and banging the fire doors, and so the receptionist was asked to ask the parents of the children to keep the noise down. Surprisingly, no guests had checked in that day and there were no children present at the hotel.
In 1991, a new member of staff was due to move into staff accommodation at the hotel, but her room was not yet ready so she had to stay in one of the guest bedrooms. In the morning, she emerged from her room very upset as she thought one of the staff had given her room key to someone else. In the middle of the night, an old man sat at the end of her bed, only to get up and walk out of the room when she woke up. However, no-one else had a copy of her room key.
In the following years, members of staff and guests at the hotel have reported feeling someone in the room with them, icy blasts of air with no open windows, voices talking and laughing with no-one there and footsteps retreating down corridors and flights of stairs


History


The hotel was built as a private house in 1851 by a gentleman by the name of William Chinnery Mitchell. William’s direct family still own and run the hotel to this day. The hotel was run as a private house until 1950, when it was converted into a hotel. It now occupies three adjoining houses in St. George’s Drive, and one smaller house in the quieter Cambridge Street, named the Bower House.
The Bower House was also built by William Chinnery Mitchell and is a stunning testament to his skill as an architect. The Bower House and the Georgian House both share a number of the same architectural details and you can see William’s designs in many of the hotel’s public areas. Today, the hotel is run by William’s great great granddaughter, Serena von der Hyde.


About


The hotel offers a selection of accommodation, from basic, cost effective rooms, through standard rooms with private bathrooms to superior classic rooms. They also offer apartments for people who may be looking to stay in the area for a little bit longer. All of the rooms are decorated in a contemporary English style and you can expect period features in all of the accommodation. The rooms are all well-equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, amongst other facilities, and a friendly Porter service is available in the Georgian house 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm. The hotel offers a full English breakfast, cooked to order, for guests that book directly through them and it is in a good location for exploring local bars and restaurants.
The hotel itself is close to Victoria Station, making it ideal for travelling to the rest of London and for connecting to other stations, including Euston, Waterloo and King’s Cross. If you’re in London for pleasure, the Georgian House hotel is ideally located for visiting all of London’s attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye. If you’re looking for a quaint city-centre stay, the Georgian House Hotel is the place for you.


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich



History


The National Maritime Museum was originally formed in 1937 by Parliament and was opened to the public in April 1937 by King George VI. The museum includes the Queen’s House, and from the 1950's, the Greenwich Royal Observatory.
The museum buildings were originally built to house the children of seafarers in 1807. The museum now has a vast collection of memorabilia and exhibitions from the history of mans association with the sea.


Ghosts at the National Maritime Museum


Perhaps one of the most famous paranormal photographs ever taken was here at the museum. It was taken by the Rev. and Mrs Hardy from Canada in 1966. It was of the shrouded figure ascending the Tulip Staircase.
The museum also plays host to another ghost known as the White Lady. She has been seen walking near Blackheath Avenue dressed in period clothes. Staff have also heard metal pans banging and being moved around in the Tea Rooms when nobody was there.

1 comment:

  1. very cool article is these real haunted places in london.

    ReplyDelete